01 Jun 08
Subaru World Rally Team principal David Richards says the development of the Subaru Impreza WRC2008 has moved to another stage after its impressive debut on the Acropolis Rally.
Richards said the team’s second place was proof that the decision to introduce the new car before it was completely ready was the right one.
“Many thought our decision to come here was risky but I’d like to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of our test team whose efforts have been totally vindicated,” he said. “We are now onto the next stage of development for the WRC2008. We’ve completed the first event, and the many lessons we have learned here will stand us in good stead for the second half of the season.”
Richards also revealed that Chris Atkinson was running a different set up on his WRC2008 when he recorded the model’s first stage win on SS14. “Chris continued his development and testing of the car today and tried a few new things that proved successful,” said Richards.
Following his retirement with suspension damage on Saturday Atkinson was keen to prove a point this morning. But after his fastest time on the day’s opener, the Australian spun on the next stage and retired after damaging his rear suspension on a rock.
“It’s was a good to get the first stage win for the new car on its first rally,” said Atkinson. “We wanted to see what the car would do and it felt good this morning, which showed in the speed. We can be faster though as there is still more to come. When we get the package just right we’ll be a lot faster still.”